David Ferrer’s retirement in the 3rd game of the 1st set last night probably put some dents in bankrolls, but today we’ll bounce back! The Australian Open is right around the corner, and players are trying to build some confidence before the first major of the year. This small 14-game slate is filled with young talent on both the men and women’s tour, but who will come out on top?
The players listed below can be used in any contest, whether it’s for cash or GPP. I personally like to use the same lineup in both, since the goal is to pick players who are going to win their match. If you choose to go down the route of playing the “stars and scrubs” strategy, you might be forced to choose players who are bound to get crushed. This strategy is very risky as upsets happen quite often in tennis, and if one of your most expensive players gets beat you have a very low chance to cash. Lets get into my top 3 plays for the slate!
Note: Tennis is available on DraftKings ONLY.
Stefanos Tsitsipas $9,300
Stefanos Tsitsipas handled his first round matchup with ease last night, defeating Guido Andreozzi 6-3 6-4. Although the score looked somewhat close, he had no problem winning that match. Tonight he faces off against Andreas Seppi, a very crafty player who is looking to build on his solid 2018 season. Seppi is an average player on all surfaces, but when it comes to playing against the best players he tends to be unsuccessful. Andreas only defeated 6 players ranked inside the top 50 last season, and he’s going to have to play at his very best if he has a chance to beat Tsitsipas. This is their first head-to-head meeting, but with the current form that Tsitsipas is in, he should be able to get his way into the next round.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich $8,800
Aliaksandra Sasnovich has taken the world by surprise in this tournament so far, defeating Monica Puig 6-1 6-0 and then handling the world number 10, Daria Kasatkina, 6-1 7-5. She gets an easier matchup tonight against Timea Bacsinszky, who has come into her form somewhat these last few weeks. Sasnovich currently holds a 1-0 record against Bacsinszky, with that 1 match being on a hard court. The one stat that stood out to me is that Sasnovich hasn’t faced more than 9 break points in a match since September, and that is incredibly hard to do on the WTA tour. She has also managed to break serve 5+ times in each match so far this tournament, which proves that she is successful in all aspects of the game. If she can continue to hold her service games and break through the sub-par server of Bacsinszky, Sasnovich should find herself in the semi-finals.
Gilles Simon $8,100
Gilles Simon had a very successful end to his 2018 season, and he’s looking to build on that here in 2019. Simon had a tough first round matchup against Sam Querrey, one of the biggest servers in the game, but came out on top. Simon lost 3 matches in his last 2-3 months, all to top 10 players. Today he gets John Milllman, the 29 year old Australian who took the scene by surprise after defeating Roger Federer in the US Open in August. However, outside of that career-changing win, Millman has struggled against the big name players. Gilles Simon has averaged 10 break point opportunities in the matches he’s played this year, and with John Millman being a poor 1st serve returner, Simon will need to take advantage of his service games. This is their first head-to-head matchup, and while Millman is at home and going to have the crowd behind him, I think Simon will be too much to handle in the end.
Possible upset/punt plays:
Petra Kvitova $7,700
Yoshihito Nishioka $7,300
Pablo Carreno-Busta $7,100
Elise Mertens $6,500
Written by: Caleb Alderman